Determination of sialic acid in sweet whey is useful as the concentration of sialic acid reflects the amount of glycomacropeptide (GMP) present. In this study, the concentration of total sialic acid was determined by the thiobarbituric acid reaction after dialysis of samples in water, and the concentration of GMP sialic acid was estimated by gel chromatography on Sephacryl S-200. Concentrations of total and GMP sialic acid determined in a sweet whey sample prepared from fresh milk were 2.0 and 1.5 microg/mg of dry weight, respectively. Analysis of commercial samples showed that the concentration of total sialic acid in sweet whey was 9 times lower than that in whey protein concentrate but 18 times higher than that in whey permeate. A similar trend was observed in the variation of GMP sialic acid concentration between sweet whey and why protein concentrate. The concentration of sialic acid differed 10 times between two samples of whey protein isolate.